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MIAMI (AP) — A surge of asylum-seeking families has been straining cities along the southern U.S. border for months, but now the issue is flowing into cities far from Mexico, where immigrants are being housed in an airplane hangar and rodeo fairgrounds and local authorities are struggling to keep up with the influx.

U.S. immigration officials have eyed spots in states like Florida, Michigan and New York, to help process the migrants before they move on to their destination, which could be anywhere in the U.S.

And in border states, cities that are several hours’ drive from Mexico are already seeing sometimes hundreds of migrants a day.

The situation is leaving local authorities and nonprofits with the task of providing shelter for a night or two, a few meals and travel assistance to help migrants reach their final destinations across the U.S.

The issue erupted in political intrigue last week when Democratic strongholds in Florida balked at plans to send migrants to their counties, conjuring images of homeless migrants on the streets.

But elsewhere, cities and states are quietly making arrangements. New Mexico and Colorado reached agreement to drop off some migrants in Denver. A remote desert town in California has helped hundreds reach shelters for short-term stays.

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Image Credit: DC Whispers

Source: The Washington Pundit

WASHINGTON (AP) — A dozen times, Rep. Ayanna Pressley asked the witness for a yes or no answer on housing policy.

Not once did Ben Carson, President Donald Trump’s housing secretary, give her one. Instead, he mocked her: “Yes or no, can you ask me some questions yourself and stop reading?” Other times, he repeated: “You already know the answer.”

“I know the answer,” snapped Pressley. “Do YOU know the answer?”

It was a smaller pop in the epic struggle over who’s in charge in Washington these days, reflecting the dynamics crackling high and low across the battlefield of divided American government. Meeting by meeting, questions of competence, generational change, #MeToo politics, special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, and the 2020 elections are animating the fight for power. Even as Trump and his top Cabinet officials refuse to cooperate with congressional investigations, there is evidence that newly empowered Democrats are slowly — sometimes messily — resetting the balance after Trump’s first two years in office under Republican congressional control.

This week alone, a selection of skirmishes big and small played out in public, including a Trump-size explosion by noon on Wednesday. In the span of three hours: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi jabbed at him, telling reporters that “the president is engaged in a cover-up,” repeating for emphasis, “a cover-up” — and breezily added that she was due at the White House for a meeting on infrastructure.

Two Democratic lawmakers stumped Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in a hearing on Tuesday. They asked him about acronyms that relate to the federal government and housing. (May 22)

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On his turf, Trump blew up that gathering in under three minutes, refusing to shake anyone’s hand or take a seat. He announced he could not do such a deal “under the circumstances” of “phony investigations” — and stalked out. Pelosi then I-told-ya-so’d to the people still in the Cabinet Room: “I knew the president was not serious about infrastructure and would find a way out,” according to a Democratic aide.

“For some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part … he took a pass and it just makes me wonder why he did that. In any event I pray for the president of the United States,” Pelosi, going on with her day, said later.

It was the latest sass she’d aimed at Trump after questioning his manhood, clapping and smirking at him at the State of the Union speech and, before that, forcing him to reopen the government without the money he demanded for his border wall.

“Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!” Trump tweeted from the White House.

It’s more than a public shoving match between septuagenarians at the pinnacle of American government. The spectacle Wednesday took attention away from dissention among Pelosi’s Democratic ranks over what some say looks like a march toward impeachment proceedings against Trump. But more broadly, it’s part of an ongoing tug-of-war for public perception about who has political power now and who should wield it after the 2020 presidential and congressional elections.

In hearing by hearing, across the warren of Capitol Hill, a new generation of House Democrats, including a record number of women, are transforming what Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin last month called “this relationship” between the administration and, in his case, the House Financial Services Committee. There, Mnuchin tried to goad Rep. Maxine Waters, the panel’s first African American chairman, into banging her “gravel” and dismissing him. In a widely shared video, she told him not to tell her how to run the panel.

Mnuchin was back in the witness chair before her panel on Wednesday saying he has no idea who wrote a confidential IRS memo that says, according to The Washington Post, Trump’s tax returns must be given to Congress unless the president asserts executive privilege. Mnuchin said he believes he was following the law when he refused to turn over six years of Trump’s tax returns.

A day earlier, Waters’ committee also was a class in oversight for Carson, and a chance for Democrats to question the former neurosurgeon’s qualifications to serve as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Freshman Rep. Katie Porter, a California Democrat, lawyer and expert in foreclosure law, asked Carson whether he knew the housing term “REO.” Carson seemed to think she was referring to a popular chocolate sandwich cookie.

“An Oreo?” Carson asked.

“No, not an Oreo,” Porter said. She spelled it back for him and asked again.

Carson replied, “Real estate,” and hesitated.

“What’s the ‘O’ stand for?” Porter pressed.

Carson said, “Organization.”

“Owned,” Porter corrected him. “Real estate owned.” She explained that the term, obscure to most anyone but housing experts, refers to what happens when a property goes to foreclosure.

Later, Carson later sent Porter and a family-size box of double-stuffed Oreos. She countered, “What I’m really looking for is answers.”

His exchange with another woman on the committee — Pressley — grew especially sharp.

“It pains me that your gifted hands and mine are doing the bidding and carrying the water of what I believe is one of the most morally bankrupt presidents in our nation’s history,” Pressley, Massachusetts’ first black congresswoman, began.

Quickly though, she demanded yes or no answers, “reclaiming” her time when he refused. When she pressed, he parried, “Reclaiming my time.”

“You don’t get to do that,” Pressley said.

Waters dropped the gavel. “The time belongs to the lady.”


Follow Kellman on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman .

FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve building is pictured in Washington, DC
FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve building is pictured in Washington, DC, U.S., August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo/File Photo

May 22, 2019

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve may consider tweaking how much it pays mortgage agencies, money market funds and other non-banks in certain Treasury-backed transactions, the U.S. central bank’s minutes released on Wednesday showed.

The minutes also showed that the Fed’s current patient approach to setting monetary policy could remain in place “for some time.”

The Fed uses what is known as a reverse repurchase agreement (repo) program to control interest rates.

Reverse repos, together with the interest the Fed pays banks on reserves they keep at the Fed and the term deposit facility, helped the Fed manage short-term interest rates after it raised them from rock-bottom levels after the 2008 global financial crisis.

By controlling short-term rates, the Fed hopes to influence the broader economy to maximize employment and keep inflation near its target.

The goal was for the reverse repo transactions to set a “floor” below which short-term rates would not fall. But policymakers do not want too many institutions to participate because, among other risks, that could draw money out of markets where people borrow.

More than three years since the Fed moved away from its near zero-rate policy, there have been instances where short-term rates, most notably the federal funds rate, have come close to the top end of the Fed’s target range.

Short-term rates spiked last month as people withdrew money to pay tax bills, forcing banks to pay more for liquidity, Reuters reported.

After the May meeting, the Fed tweaked the interest on excess reserves (IOER) for a third time since June 2018 without changing the policy rate in a bid to hold down borrowing rates.

“If it became appropriate in the future to further lower the IOER rate, the staff noted that the Committee might wish to first consider where to set the (overnight reverse repurchase agreement) offer rate” to mitigate the risk that too many institutions participate in the repo program, according to minutes of the Fed’s April 30-May 1 meeting.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Richard Leong; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

2019: The Diversity of @CPAC in The Age of #TRUMP & #MAGA CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) is an annual conference/celebration event that is an essential part of the right leaning person’s celebration of their political leanings. One of the greatest facts is that CPAC is an event that keeps growing, with attendance topping the […]

CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) is an annual conference/celebration event that is an essential part of the right leaning person’s celebration of their political leanings. One of the greatest facts is that CPAC is an event that keeps growing, with attendance topping the 10,000 marks in recent years. Ultimately, CPAC is a lively four-day experience […]

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